Sound — 8
Nice sustain I have to say, the neck pickup that come with the guitar has a nice smooth tone giving warm tone, strong bass and a good alternative to what is in the bridge (which in my case is a Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebucker) a super pickup and Loud and mean and mighty powerful for a PASSIVE pickup, the wiring is clean and well done. I also tested this guitar with a EMG 81 and a Seymour Duncan Blackout. ALL good but went back to the Dimebucker because is just fits this guitar's tone so well. The tone of the wood I would say is on the lighter side NOT muddy a little sharp.
Overall Impression — 9
I had a Dean Z Explorer shape and well I thought it was cr*p it just didn't balance right or sit well for standing up playing (maybe due to the light wood) and it sounded thin and weak so I sold it. But this is a COMPLETELY different story it sits well both sitting and standing and the extra wings (Flying V shape parts) make standing and playing feel cool I would chase another one of these down if I lost it. Good value if you got it cheap. Overall nice workmanship. The neck is super thin which makes it comfortable for chords and shredding. Well done Dean good job.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Excellent well build guitar the workmanship is clearly seen as high standard, the fret work is clean and smooth, the Grover Tuners are well suited and feel great. The Floyd Rose Special is also of a high standard and feel good tho I do hear the "Special" base plate can wear quicker than the higher value Floyd Rose bridges (but when you consider those bridges cost as much as this whole guitar, value wise you I see no issue) wiring all was done well too shielding is all coving inside mine with is nice to see in a cheaper guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Maybe it was from the last guy who I brought this guitar from but he had heavy 52's I think on this and the Floyd Rose was set to finger splitting tension, I had to loosen everything up and set-up the Floyd Rose correctly, raising the action to get rid of some buzz etc. Once done the 52's work well on this in drop D, but since then, I have attacked the Floyd Rose again and setup using 48's and all is good. The action is low enough, not the lowest action I Have but still very good for shredding. Trust rod adjustments etc all work well.
Features — 9
Nice guitar I purchased second hand from an internet ad I kept seeing the price go down over a few weeks until I had to buy it. Basic specs: - Mahogany Top/Body (I would say this is a light guitar weight wise) with 24-3/4" Scale - 1-11/16" Nut - Set in Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard. - Dot inlays with a Pearl Dime Razor Inlay at the 12 fret - Grover Tuners - Black Hardware - DBD Traction Knobs (these scream Dimebag looks like a solder iron put holes around them a little rough but that's is what they should be giving a solid hold of the knobs when swearing). - Floyd Rose Special Bridge (the cheaper version but still a proper Floyd Rose). the neck pickup is standard on mine, I think it's called a "USA DMT "DimeTime" but mine has Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebucker in the bridge (super pickup see my review super loud equal to a active pickup in output). The colour is black with a well done finish.